New research has suggested that women who see themselves as active participants in the birth of their first child, and prefer a collaborative role with their healthcare provider are more likely to opt for a planned home birth with a midwife. On the other hand, women who perceive their role in the birthing process more passively and are more fearful of birth are more likely to seek obstetric care for a hospital birth.
Women's answers indicated whether they perceived the Mother’s Role as active or passive, the Provider’s Role as dominant or collaborative, and the Delivery Experience as fearful and painful, or as a positive occurrence.
Women who perceived their role as active, the provider’s role as collaborative, and the delivery of the child as a positive experience, were more likely to prefer midwifery care, birth at home, a vaginal delivery and the avoidance of pain medication.
The more painful and fearful a woman expects her birth to be, the more likely she is to prefer a caesarean to a vaginal birth.
Melissa Maimann is an endorsed eligible midwife in private practice in Sydney. One of the first eligible midwives in Australia, Melissa now offers a range of care options for women including private midwifery care and birth support. Visit Melissa's website to learn more about her services.